Any equine tooth extraction can have complications, but not all methods carry the same risks. Researchers studied the five most-common tooth extraction methods to compare the type and rates of complication.
Scientists V. Caramello, L. Zarucco, D. Foster, R. Boston, D. Stefanovski and J. A. Orsini studied oral extraction, three surgical tooth removals and lateral buccotomy techniques. The cases of 137 horses that had 162 cheek teeth removed between 1997 and 2013 were reviewed and the scientists determined the likelihood of complications comparing oral extraction, lateral buccotomy, tooth repulsion by maxillary and mandibular trephination or maxillary sinus bone flap.
Oral extraction was successful in 71 percent of the cases in which it was attempted and it had the lowest complication rate. The procedure with the most complications was repulsion by sinus bone flap, where the veterinarian makes a bone flap in the frontal bone. This method increased the odds of damage to other teeth, bone damage, sinusitis, delayed granulation and fistulation.
Tooth removal by maxillary trephination (where a hole is drilled through the bone to remove the tooth) significantly increased the odds of a surgical-site infection; and extraction by lateral buccotomy (where the incision is made through the cheek) significantly increased the likelihood of loss of feeling in facial nerves. A fever once the horse came out of surgery was common in all extraction methods.
The researchers concluded that oral extraction had the least post-operative complications; standing extraction remains the removal method of choice.
Read more at Wiley Online Library.
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